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Tasha Schuh Continues to Inspire Others 16 Years after Life-changing 16-foot Fall

May 2014

In 1997, 16-year-old Tasha Schuh was practicing for a performance of “The Wizard of Oz” when everything changed. Stage hands wanted to change the scenery, so Tasha stepped back to give them more space. Unbeknownst to her, a trap door had been opened behind her, and she fell 16 feet to the concrete below.

When she fell, Tasha landed on her head, and the impact fractured her skull, broke her neck and crushed her spinal cord. Then, she received the bad news. Tasha learned that she was paralyzed from the chest down and had lost the ability to walk and to sing. That was 16 years ago. In spite of it all, Tasha states that if she were given the chance, she wouldn’t change anything.

The Present Day

Now 33, Tasha states that the years that she has spent sitting in her wheelchair have been more productive than they would have been if she hadn’t experienced her accident. She believes that in order to have a wonderful life, people must endure the bad times. When they come out on the other side, they will see that everything is even better than it was before. 

An Important Lesson

Tasha received a very important lesson from her parents Kathy and Duane Schuh early in life, and this lesson was what made it possible for Tasha to move forward in the face of adversity. The lesson was to never give up. When people are victims of terrible circumstances, they have the choice to hold on to victim status, or they can move forward from there and enjoy a better life. Because Tasha was determined not to give up, she placed herself firmly in the category of people who move forward, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Tasha’s Accomplishments

Tasha is now an inspirational speaker who gets in front of crowds with as many as 2,000 people in attendance. In 2012, she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair USA. She has also defied her doctors’ expectations. Last month, she sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in two different concerts at a Minnesota junior high school. She has even written a book about her experiences called “My Last Step Backward.”

Tasha’s Recovery

Tasha spent six months in a hospital at the Mayo Clinic where she thought she wouldn’t be able to continue living in her new condition. She began to pull herself out of this type of thinking by realizing that she is “a strong person.”

At that time, she discovered that she could move her wrists. She wasn’t impressed with this fact, but her doctors were. Now, she realizes that being able to move her wrists is what allows her to do many things, including drive a vehicle, maneuver her wheelchair, eat without assistance, put on her makeup, use the computer and sign copies of her book.

Accurate Predictions

Television reporter Darcy Pohland became a mentor for Tasha. Pohland also experienced an accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down, and she was the one who let Tasha know that she was going to do many things in her life. It turns out that Pohland was right.

As Pohland had predicted, Tasha graduated from high school and went on to college where she majored in communications studies. This led to her role as an inspirational speaker. She received her bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and received a bachelor’s degree in theology from Maranatha Christian College in 2007.

The Role of Faith

A member of Life Abundant Church in River Falls, Wisconsin, Tasha credits her faith for the ability to have such a great attitude about life. She believes that it is the reason that she has been able to prove her doctors wrong and sing again. The signature song that she performs after inspirational speaking engagements is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the musical she was rehearsing when her accident occurred.


Another of Pohland’s predictions came true in 2013. In August of that year, Tasha married Doug Michaels with whom she plans to have children in the future. Michaels now arranges Tasha’s schedule and accompanies his wife on her travels. He states that Tasha’s story forces people to challenge and improve themselves on a daily basis.

The Legal Side

At the time of Tasha’s accident 16 years ago, her family visited other attorneys before they consulted with Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben. The other lawyers told them that they did not have a case. However, Tasha’s medical bills were piling up, and Tasha’s mother Kathy wanted to concentrate on Tasha’s recovery. Thankfully, they called Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben.

According to Kathy, the attorneys at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben informed them that they did have a case, and they worked tirelessly to show that there was negligence in this matter. They were able to successfully demonstrate in court that the accident could have been prevented. Because of the actions of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, Tasha received the money that she needed to pay her medical bills. She credits the law firm with her ability to finish high school, move on to college, live independently and become an inspirational speaker.

Contact Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben

If you or a loved has been injured or killed in a personal injury accident, contact the seasoned attorneys at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben. The lawyers have many years of experience, and they have earned their reputation for being excellent litigators who use their vast skills to obtain monetary damages for their clients’ pain and suffering.

The law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben is prepared to help you if you have been involved in several types of accidents and have suffered traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries or severe burns. They understand that these types of injuries require that you place all of your concentration on recovering from your injuries and adjusting to your new life. They fight your legal battles for you so that you can keep the focus on your rehabilitation where it belongs. Call (612) 377-7777 or 1-800-752-4265 (toll-free) for a free consultation.

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